Obanikoro Testifies in Court: Reveals Airlifting N1.219bn for Fayose's Election Support  - The Top Society

Obanikoro Testifies in Court: Reveals Airlifting N1.219bn for Fayose’s Election Support 


Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, detailed on Wednesday how a staggering N1.219 billion in cash was airlifted to bolster the election bid of ex-Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose. The former minister in a Federal High Court in Abuja cited the incapacity of the now-defunct Diamond Bank to handle such a colossal sum as the impetus for resorting to airlifting.

Fayose, alongside Spotless Investment Limited, faces trial on 11 counts related to money laundering and embezzlement, with a total sum alleged to be N6.9 billion.

Obanikoro, testifying under the counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), disclosed that the funds originated from the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.), emphasizing that only Dasuki could elucidate on its source.

The former minister asserted that he received information about the money exclusively from Dasuki, clarifying that it was the ex-NSA who informed him of the deposit into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited.

Obanikoro said,

“I was a minister under Jonathan’s administration in 2014. Sometime in 2014, we were going to have an election in Ekiti State. I was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the activities in the election. 

“Some days before the election, I got a call from Gov. Fayose asking me if I received any message for him from ONSA, I can recall that prior to that, we had some activities among which was fundraising for that election.” 

Contrary to reports by an online media platform, Obanikoro refuted claims of personally withdrawing the funds and provided insights into the origin of his association with Sylvan Mcnamara Limited.

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Obanikoro said,

“When Mr. Fayose called, I told him I would call him later. I had a call conversation with the NSA and was told he would get back to me. After, he got back to me that N2.2 billion was paid into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Lomited.. 

“The money came came from the NSA. Only the NSA can explain the source of the fund. The bank lacked the capacity to handle the situation. It was a last-minute decision- to ferry the money to Ekiti. 

“I handed over the cash to Agbele for onward delivery to Fayose. I did not take any money or N19 million, contrary to the publication by a Lagos-based online platform.” 

He asserted that the account, initially opened to combat terrorism in Lagos, later evolved to disburse funds for electoral purposes.

He said,

“The account was created to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos, the account was created by Taiwo Kareem, and the account was used for the purpose of disbursing funds for election. 

“I put a call through to let Fayose know that the money had been paid. Diamond Bank had said it did not have the capacity to make the funds available, so we opted to airlift the fund. The funds were airlifted from Lagos in two tranches, the volume was much.” 

Following Obanikoro’s testimony, presiding Judge Justice Nnamdi Dimgba adjourned the case until February 27, 2024, leaving the courtroom in anticipation of further revelations in this high-profile trial.

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